845. Verse 4. And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them, signifies that the truths of the Word, according to which all are judged, were opened, and that then they were taken up from the lower earth, who had been concealed by the Lord, lest they should be seduced by the dragon and his beasts. The reason why this is the signification of these words, is because by "the thrones" upon which they sat, are not signified thrones, but judgment according to the truths of the Word; that by "the thrones" seen in heaven is represented judgment, may be seen above (n. 229). That nothing else is signified by "the thrones," upon which the twenty-four elders sat, and upon which the twelve apostles are to sit, and that all are judged according to the truths of the Word, may also be seen above (n. 233); from which it is plain, that by "judgment was given unto them," is signified that judgment was given to the truths of the Word.
 The reason why they are meant who were taken up by the Lord from the lower earth into heaven, and who in the meanwhile had been concealed there lest they should be seduced by the dragon and his beasts, is because this is said of "the souls which had been beheaded," and of "the dead," afterwards mentioned, not that they were dead to themselves, but to others. The place where they were concealed is called the lower earth, which is next above hell, under the world or spirits, and there by communication with heaven and by conjunction with the Lord, they are in safety. There are many such places, and there they live cheerfully with one another, and worship the Lord, nor do they know anything about hell. They who are there are at times elevated by the Lord into heaven after the Last Judgment, and when they are elevated those who are meant by the dragon are removed. It has been frequently granted me to see them taken up and consociated with the angels in heaven. This is what is meant in the Word by "the graves were opened," and "the dead were raised up."